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Protest and Retreat, September–November 1812

  • Charles J. Esdaile

Abstract

Thanks to his insistence on referring the decree of 22 September to the British government, the Duke of Wellington did not formally accept the command of the Spanish army until 22 November.1 The delay was unfortunate, for by the time that he did so the political and military situation had altered dramatically. Had Wellington been able to accept it immediately, his own prestige and the liberals’ fear of a conservative coup would probably have been sufficient to secure as many concessions as he pleased from the Spaniards. Two months later, however, the Duke had suffered the most humiliating setback of his military career, whilst the secrecy which had hitherto concealed his appointment had been breached in dramatic fashion amidst a storm of controversy. With the best will in the world, it would now be harder for the Regency to make the sort of concessions which Wellington required, and yet the events of the campaign had confirmed the British general in his belief in their necessity. Conflict, in short, was becoming ever more certain.

Keywords

British Government Officer Corps Spanish General Military Career Public Subscription 
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Notes and References

  1. 9.
    P. Girón, Recuerdos de la vida de Don Pedro Agustín Girón, ed. F. Suárez and A. Berazluce (Pamplona, 1978) vol. I, p. 71.Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    A. Alcalá Galiano, Memorias (Madrid, 1886) vol. I, pp. 321–2; Diario de la Tarde, 29 August 1811, SHM. CDF. vol. CLVI; Demostración de los distinguidos servicios que por la sagrada causa de nuestra independencia nacional lleva hecho hasia ahora la ilustre ciudad de Cádiz (Cádiz, 1811) p. 8, SHM. CDF. vol. DCCLX.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Charles J. Esdaile 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles J. Esdaile

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